Rejected EU-students may still be entitled to student loans

Rejected EU-students may still be entitled to student loans

EU-students who previously were not eligible for the ‘Studievoorschot’ – the new system of student loans − would do well to submit a new application. Thus states the LSR, an organization that assists students with legal issues.On the basis of non-discrimination, all students from the European Union have equal access to the Dutch educational system. According to the LSR, this is not always the case with the new system. “Minister Bussemaker (Education) and the DUO (which grants the loans) try to make it as difficult as possible for foreign students to qualify”, says board member Cilia van Nierop.

EU students who have resided in the Netherlands for at least five years, automatically lay claim to the new loan. For students staying here shorter, it is more complex. There’s also an additional requirement: you must be a so-called migrant worker. DUO checks whether students have worked an average of at least 56 hours per month. Students that cannot prove this, are rejected. Furthermore, they have to pay back already obtained grants. According to the LSR these rejections are often incorrect. The LSR states that students who work less than 56 hours monthly, can also be seen as a (migrant) workers and thus are eligible for student grants. Under European law, it is not enough just to look at the number of hours worked. The Personal circumstances of the students also need to be taken into account.

Van Nierop’s advice for EU-students: if in the past your application was rejected due to the ‘migrant worker’-requirement, you should try and send in a new one. Your request should be submitted before 1 August. Contact the LSR for information and help.

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